The bold and brilliant Singer/ Songwriter Jess Novak shares about her latest album 'Standing Now', how she stands up for herself and we are standing with her!
Thank you for taking this interview with us Jess! Can you tell us a little about your journey as an artist?
I started playing violin when I was seven years old. My mom's name is Melodie and my great grandfather and uncles were all musicians, so I knew it was something inside of me. But it was when my older brother started playing bass guitar that I fell in love with music. He started showing me bands like Kool and The Gang, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. That's when I knew I wanted to play like that. It took decades to get there and a lot of time was wasted just thinking I wasn't good enough to try. I got my masters degree in music journalism, became a music editor and a radio deejay, always finding ways to be involved in music, but not make music. Then, in 2013, I decided to really try it. I put out a solo album - and between then and 2020 - I've released nine original albums. I'm really proud of that. I always tell people - if I can do that - you can do anything. You just have to try - and work really, really, really hard.
What do you attribute your success to?
A long time ago I realized I'd never be the most talented at any one thing. That's a high and impossible bar. But, I can outwork anyone. I just refuse to quit. And when I fall down - I just get back up and try again. I actually have a musician friend who told me, "You have the biggest balls of anyone I know," because I don't care if I fail. I'll just get up and try again, even harder. I've also learned, especially in music, that you can be the best player in the world. But if you don't show up - you're not the best player. You're not the best at anything because you're not there. It's all about putting the work in, showing up when no one else wants to and not stopping until you take a step in the direction you want to go.
'Standing Now' is out now! Congratulations, it's incredible! What has been the most touching reaction you've received about the album?
Thank you! I've been most excited about the overwhelming response to the ballad "Northern Lights". Usually, it's the fun, upbeat, catchy song on the album that gets all the attention. But this, slow, heartfelt, painfully truthful ballad has gotten attention since I first started playing it solo. And I love it even more because it's not just a love song, it's actually a statement on loving and believing in yourself. When I'm shouting, "Come on, God, make me right," that's a plea to the universe to make me what I'm supposed to be, what I'm capable of. It's really not a song to a partner about asking them for love. It's a shout to the universe that I want to be more. It's a love song that's about realizing you have everything you need and that you can't give up. It's not about becoming someone's northern lights - it's about realizing you already are the northern lights.
What's the song that gets you the most hyped on the album?
"News for You" feels so good because it's such a powerful role-reversal. I very intentionally used the words I did in the chorus. "You thought I'd take this lying down / well, bitch, I'm standing now," is absolutely directed at a man who is treating me unfairly and assuming he'll get away with it. Then, to use the word "bitch" is to throw back in their face a term men too often throw at women. Being a female who runs a business and often represents herself, I definitely see that disparity all the time. If I'm firm about something - I'm considered a bitch. But if a man is similarly firm in his stance - he's seen as strong. This song is directly pointing out that I do not and will not accept that kind of double standard. If you're being a certain way - I'm going to call you out on it and not because you're male or female - it's because you deserve it. I hope other people feel that and are energized by it. It's meant to be a power anthem, especially for women.
Where can the audience stream 'Standing Now' and follow your musical journey?
It is currently available on Spotify (The Jess Novak Band), Amazon, iTunes, AppleMusic and CDBaby. We also have a music video for "Match' out now and two more on the way! Visit www.jessrocknovak.com for more.
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